Mary Ellen Beachley, widow of longtime Juniata College trustee Donovan Beachley Jr. ’47, donated $250,000 to the College to support faculty research, scholarship, and professional development.
Timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Donovan and Mary Ellen’s original donation to fund the Beachley Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Beachley Award for Distinguished Academic Service, the gift will create an endowment to support “one or more faculty member’s scholarly activities,” which can include teaching, research, public service, professional development, or other purposes that would enhance the educational environment at the College.
“We wanted (our gift) to be something lasting. It was a great way to recognize faculty,” said Mary Ellen Beachley of the original endowment, as she announced the new gift at Juniata’s Spring Convocation ceremony May 2. “We were extremely gratified with the positive response (the award) brought and how the award changed the lives (of those who received it). Fifty years later, we felt it’s about time to do it again.”
In 1967, Donovan Beachley Sr. ’21, third-generation president of the Beachley Furniture Company, and his son, Donovan Beachley Jr., gave $25,000 to fund the awards.
“Some who won the awards today were not yet born at the time of the original gift,” said Lauren Bowen, provost, as she introduced Mary Ellen Beachley at the convocation. “Mary Ellen has added to the family’s tradition of supporting Juniata faculty and providing the means to help our faculty continue their professional development on their way to one day earning a Beachley honor.”
“It’s amazing to see that my parents’ contribution for the teaching awards is still honoring Juniata faculty—which shows you the power of an endowment,” says David Beachley ’77, “We thought an endowment that professors can use to further their education and aspire to that next level would be a good stepping stone for future candidates for the Beachley Distinguished Professor awards.”
From left, are: Lauren Bowen, provost; Elizabeth Beachley, wife of David Beachley ’77; James A. Troha, Juniata President; David Beachley ’77, Juniata Trustee and CEO of Beachley Furniture; Bill Thomas, professor of IT and recipient of the Beachley Award for Distinguished Teaching; Mary Ellen Beachley; Jerry Kruse, professor of math, assistant provost, and recipient of the Beachley Award for Distinguished Academic Service; and Barbara Beachley Marshall ’74, a retired educator.Photo by Amber Boring '18